Arsenal: The Board have a lot of explaining to do

Another dismal start to the season with defeat to Aston Villa at home which many pundits regarded as a shock defeat. It was coming, given the negativity that the Arsenal hierarchy have succeeded in creating by their elaborate con to spend in the transfer window.

In the past, I have supported the clubs strategy to wipe out the stadium debt and run a sustainable model. However what is irksome is the manner in which the Arsenal board led supporters into believing that they had around £70 million to strengthen the team.

Why make that public knowledge. Surely it will alert selling clubs and they will demand more for possible Arsenal targets. Ivan Gadizis, a so called business executive should know that. Therefore the obvious answer is that it was a ploy to sell season tickets. It wasn’t aimed at other clubs but directed at long suffering Arsenal fans who have reached saturation point.

Arsene Wenger has come out with loads of nonsense about the difficulty in signing players. The irony is Spurs who are not even in the Champions League and should therefore find it difficult to attract top quality players have succeeded in attracting the likes of Soldado and Paulinho, both of whom would have been more than welcome in the current Arsenal team. How is it possible for Spurs to spend £60 million and Wenger to find the transfer market difficult? Soldado and Paulinho were outstanding in their first game against Palace.

Wenger is living twenty years behind the rest of the football world because he stubbornly refuses to pay current market prices. Stevan Jovetic was signed by Manchester City for £22.8 million simply because Wenger refused to meet the selling club’s valuation. More evidence that Wenger is out of touch with the current market is illustrated by the Lars Bender saga. He made a bid of £19 million for the player which was rejected by the selling club.

Wenger did not bother to go back with an improved bid because he believes that his valuation is the gospel. Bender is worth at least £25 million in the modern day market. With an improved offer, he would have stood a better chance of getting a quality player. It is obvious that Wenger will find it difficult to sign players because of his lack of flexibility.

Another contributory factor to his failure in the transfer market was his fixation with Suarez and his blind belief that the deal would go through. This made him dither to such an extent that weeks have gone by without any transfer activity at Arsenal whilst the likes of Daniel Levy at Tottenham were shrewdly making squad strengthening signings. Only Arsenal will be foolish enough to sell their best players to the competition, Liverpool are not that foolish to sell to the competition.

Wenger was delusional enough to state that he could win the league with the players that he has. Has he forgotten that this is the same team that was beaten by Bradford City and Blackburn Rovers?

The Arsenal Board should take full responsibility for this because Wenger’s prudence is lining their pockets and it appears that they are loving it. The concerns of fans seems immaterial. Also transfer negotiations should not be Wenger’s business. He should merely identify the players who he wants and the person responsible for finances should facilitate the deal without discussing the money aspect with Wenger.

Personally I believe that Wenger should concentrate on what he is paid to do at the club and not interfere with matters that are outside his job description. Gazidis is just a Chief Executive appointed from the world of business therefore he is not an Arsenal fan who feels the pain that true supporters endure. To him, it’s just another job and he can move on if the need arises.

If Arsenal were so astute in the transfer market, why then have they cleared the deck of over fifteen useless players who were on ridiculous wages? He has done exactly what Arsenal have done annually for the last eight years but in a more surreptitious manner. He has sold Gervinho for £8 million and got rid of the dead wood thus reducing the wage bill by around £320 000 a week (Don’t forget bonuses). That equates to selling a player for over £20 million when added to the Gervinho fee.

With fifteen days to go before the close of the transfer window Wenger will try to make his trolley dash but prospective targets will be over-priced because of Arsenal’s desperation or teams will refuse to sell because they will not get their own replacements on time.

I used to be the eternal optimist who believed in the Wenger way but I am not so sure anymore. I always knew that we would clinch fourth place ahead of Tottenham in the past but even that may be beyond reach this season unless something radical happens soon.


Written by Goolam Rawat

Follow Goolam on Twitter @gbrawat

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